Softball: Panthers rally to force deciding game in USA South first round series

Photo by Dean Hartman
Photo by Dean Hartman

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - LaGrange forced the deciding game with Huntingdon in its first round USA South Tournament series. The Panthers (16-16) rallied for a 5-3 win in Game 2 after the Hawks (29-13) held on to take the first game of the day, 5-4.

Game 2
Huntingdon scored two runs in the top of the sixth to go up 3-2. Haley Coleman led off LC's half of the sixth with an infield single. Karli Whitaker reached on an error and both runners moved into scoring position on Kelsey Dietz's sacrifice bunt. Madelynn Formby followed with a pinch-hit single to score Coleman with the tying run. Pinch-runner Landon DeLamar stole second to put runners on second and third for the second time in the inning. Hailey Jones, the second pinch hitter of the inning, then doubled down the left field lines to put the Panthers up 5-3. Natalie Glass (2-0) threw a scoreless seventh inning to seal the victory. The Panthers had 12 hits in the game. Coleman, Kelsey Dietz, Taylor Long, and Brittany Todd all had two hits. Coleman also had a triple.

Game 1
The Hawks built a 5-1 lead through five innings. In the sixth, Long and Todd opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Long came around later to score on an error. 's Todd came home on Coleman's base hit to make it 5-3. The Panthers got within a run in the seventh. Riley Densmore led off with a single and McKenzie Brunel came on as a pinch-runner. Brunel scored on Todd's sacrifice fly made it 5-4 before the Hawks got the final out. 

The winner of the series advances to next week's USA South Tournament as part of the USA South Spring Festival held in LaGrange.